June 14, 2017

Tracy K. Smith, the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Princeton University Professor in the Humanities and a professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts, has been named the 22nd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2017-18.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the appointment today. Ms. Smith will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library of Congress’s annual literary season with a reading of her work at the Coolidge Auditorium. more

April 26, 2017

Saturday’s marchers for science, some 2,400 strong, gathered at the Battlefield Monument, led in spirit by Princeton’s most renowned scientist. Participants talk about what brought them there in this week’s Town Talk. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

March 29, 2017

In the Town Topics story titled “Rider Seeks Buyer to Keep Westminster in Princeton” that ran in this week’s issue (March 29), it was indicated that Westminster Choir College would remain in Princeton. This has not yet been determined, as Rider is seeking interest from institutions that may choose to move the choir college to a different location. The Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey is still seeking support to make certain the college remains at its present location.

February 22, 2017

Members of the Hun School boys’ hockey team celebrate with their student cheering section after Hun edged Princeton High 4-3 in the Mercer County Tournament championship game last Friday evening at the Mercer County Park rink. It marked the fourth straight county crown for the Raiders. See page 34 for more details on Hun’s win. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Princeton Animal Control Officer Saul Nathan Barson was arrested on February 20 by the Solebury (Pennsylvania) Police Department on charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors, and criminal use of a communication facility.

Mr. Barson has been suspended from his job without pay pending further investigation, according to Princeton Municipal Administrator Marc Dashield. more

February 15, 2017

An overflow crowd attending a gubernatorial candidate forum at the Suzanne Patterson Center, held by the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) Sunday evening, February 12, officially endorsed Assemblyman John Wisniewski for New Jersey governor in the next election.

After a first round of voting by PCDO members, Mr. Wisniewski and fellow candidate Phil Murphy, a financier and former U.S. ambassador, competed in a run-off. Mr. Wisniewski won with just over 60 percent of the vote, which is the amount required for the PCDO’s endorsement. Also appearing at the forum were State Senator Raymond Lesniak and former Treasury official and federal prosecutor Jim Johnson. more

Ever since a fire leveled the AvalonBay apartment complex in Edgewater two years ago, local residents concerned about safety at the company’s development on Witherspoon Street, which opened last fall but still has sections under construction, have been pushing for upgrades in New Jersey’s building and fire codes. They have stepped up their efforts since February 4, when another blaze destroyed part of an AvalonBay complex under construction in Maplewood.

“There are so many people working to change the codes,” said Princeton resident Alexi Assmus, one of several involved in the effort. “We have been doing an amazing amount of work. There are also citizens in Teaneck and Wayne who are trying to do this. It’s a big effort.”  more

February 8, 2017

A rally “Against the Muslim Ban and Bigotry,” co-sponsored by The Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), took place on the steps of the Trenton City Hall Monday, as federal courts, which had temporarily banned the administration from enforcing two parts of Mr. Trump’s order, considered the federal government’s appeals against their ruling.

Meanwhile local institutions, groups, and individuals continue to express their concern and to take action to support vulnerable individuals. more

A fire last Saturday that ripped through an AvalonBay Communities apartment complex in Maplewood, under construction and scheduled to open in March, destroyed many of its units. While this is the second major blaze in two years at a property owned by AvalonBay, which opened Avalon Princeton last fall, a company official said the Witherspoon Street development is more than up to code. more

February 1, 2017

There has been an outpouring of support in Princeton — from the University, the Institute for Advanced Study, town government and local groups — for refugees and other immigrants affected by President Donald Trump’s recent executive actions.

GOING OR STAYING: That’s the question on the minds of students at Westminster Choir College, which could be relocated to Lawrenceville if Rider University, which owns the school, decides to put the Princeton campus up for sale. A 24-hour musical performance marathon by Westminster students, faculty and alumni this week was mounted as a protest by those who want the campus to stay where it is. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

Jody Doktor Velloso’s warm, melodious soprano filled the sanctuary of Nassau Presbyterian Church Tuesday afternoon, thrilling those seated in the pews. It was a sparse crowd. But Ms. Velloso’s recital was only the beginning of a 24-hour marathon held by The Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College. It was in protest of a proposal by Rider University, which owns Westminster, to sell the Princeton campus and relocate the music school to Rider’s Lawrenceville location. more

With chaos at airports, in the courts and elsewhere throughout the country amidst controversy over President Donald Trump’s recent immigration restriction orders, Princeton is making plans to protect vulnerable members of the community.

“Recent executive actions on immigration issues are cruel, counterproductive, and contrary to the values we hold dear in Princeton,” Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert and the Town Council wrote in a statement issued Monday night.  more

January 25, 2017

Before a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 outspoken community members the Municipal Council voted 4-1 on Monday night to approve a resolution urging the State Department of Education to deny Princeton Charter School’s (PCS) recent application to expand.

In responding to a conflict between PCS and Princeton Public Schools (PPS) supporters, who have claimed devastating effects to their budget if the expansion is approved, the Council members discussed the issue at some length and listened to a range of opinions from the public before casting their votes on the resolution.  more

January 18, 2017

Despite impassioned appeals on both sides, along with expressed commitments to work together, Princeton Charter School (PCS) and Princeton Public Schools (PPS) remain entrenched in their opposition over the question of a PCS expansion.

Princeton Charter School’s board voted unanimously last Wednesday to support their application to the State Department of Education for expansion, and Princeton Public Schools continued their efforts to block that move.  more

January 11, 2017

Institute for Advanced Study

Throughout the fall the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) continued to assert its right to proceed with its faculty housing project adjacent to the Princeton Battlefield. Despite ongoing objections from the Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS) and others, site preparation moved forward and construction seemed imminent.  more

January 4, 2017

Mayor Liz Lempert has named nine appointees to Princeton’s new Civil Rights Commission, which is designed to provide informal conflict resolution and mediation. Princeton Council is expected to approve the list at its annual reorganization meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, January 4.

Members come from different sectors of the community, including four affiliated with Princeton University. “I’m excited about the launch of this important commission, and I’m especially thrilled with the diversity of residents who have volunteered to serve, and the expertise they bring to the table,” Ms. Lempert wrote in an email on Tuesday. more

Seven hundred and seventy students from a pool of 5003 candidates who applied through single-choice early action have been offered admission to next year’s freshman class at Princeton University. The number of early applicants is the largest in the past six years, up 18.3 percent from last year. more

MUCH NEEDED ADDITION: The new addition to be built on the grounds of Morven has been designed by GWWO Architects as a support structure that augments the historic mansion rather than stealing the architectural spotlight. Groundbreaking is Thursday. (Watercolor renderings by artist Mark Schreiber)

It has taken more than a decade, but Morven Museum and Garden is finally ready to break ground on a new building that will house an area for programming, a classroom, offices, and much needed storage space. On Thursday morning, January 5 at 10:30 a.m., shovels will officially hit the dirt. more

December 28, 2016

The first issue of Town Topics appeared in March 1946. In the early years, founders Dan Coyle (left) and Don Stuart wrote all the copy and sold all the ads for their timetable-sized publication.

AS IT HAPPENS: This is how the site of Princeton University’s Arts & Transit complex looked last January. Much progress has been made on the buildings designed by architect Steven Holl, and the project is still scheduled to be completed in 2017. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

The rapid pace of teardowns and the often out-of-scale houses that replace them was an issue that dominated discussions in Princeton throughout 2016. The town’s changing character was the theme in the platforms of nearly every candidate who ran for local office in 2016. Midway through the year, moved to take action by the presence of bulldozers all over town, Princeton Council formed a Neighborhood Character and Zoning Initiative. more

December 2, 2016

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Art Garfunkel

Art Garfunkel, one of the most celebrated voices in American music, will perform at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium on Tuesday, December 13 at 4:30 p.m.

Garfunkel, along with his former partner Paul Simon, has received numerous awards and critical acclaim for his music, including 5 Grammy awards, the prestigious Britannia Award, Rolling Stone’s Best Album of the Year notation, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. more

November 23, 2016

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ARTS ADVOCATE: Taneshia Nash Laird is the new executive director of the Arts Council of Princeton, replacing Jeff Nathanson who is stepping down after 11 years. Ms. Nash Laird was executive director of the Trenton Downtown Association and co-founded MIST Harlem, a cultural and entertainment center.

The Arts Council of Princeton announced Tuesday that, after a national search, the organization has selected Taneshia Nash Laird as its new executive director. A regionally and nationally recognized leader in arts and economic development, Ms. Nash Laird will serve as the ACP’s third executive director since the organization’s founding in 1967. more

Two separate fires on Sunday caused extensive damage to three shops on Witherspoon and Spring Streets and an office building at 601 Ewing Street. There were no injuries reported, according to Princeton Police Lieutenant Chris Morgan.

Fire departments from Princeton and eight surrounding communities responded to a two-alarm fire at 12:57 p.m. on Sunday at the Village Silver Shop, More Cafe, and Sakura Express in downtown Princeton. Witherspoon Street was closed for about two hours.  more

November 9, 2016

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Liz Lempert

Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert was elected to a second four-year term in Tuesday’s race over Republican challenger Peter Marks. Ms. Lempert, a Democrat, earned 7529 votes, while Mr. Marks got 2709, according to unofficial results at press time.

In addition, voters elected Democratic Councilwoman Jenny Crumiller and newcomer Tim Quinn, also a Democrat, to two Council seats. Ms. Crumiller and Mr. Quinn, who were unopposed, will serve three-year terms. more